Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Here's what I want to know: do they have a forehead ridges attachment for the Kligons?
Those who are not a Star Trek fan may be wondering right about now: why? Dear God why? The answer: because we can!
Here's the a bit of detail:
PPW Toys will release Star Trek Mr. Potato Head collectible figures in a series of TOS-centric sets, and they’ll kick it off with Captain Kirk – going from stud to spud -- and his old Klingon foe, Kor. Subsequent sets will include Mr. Spock and Lt. Uhura, for example, and they may also feature familiar TOS equipment and Enterprise components.
“Even though it’s taken a lot of time and hard work, this project is like a dream come true for me, speaking personally,” says Dean Gorby, PPW Toys’ business manager. “I grew up in the 70’s and TOS was my favorite show. So to work on a project like this is surreal.”
--now I have something to get my girls for Christmas.
|Kirk: "So you are saying we are a child's plaything?"|
Kor: "INDEED, they have no honor!"
Thursday, January 27, 2011
"The more I experience the gospel, the more there develops within me a yearning affection for my fellow-Christians who are also participating in the glories of the gospel. This affection for them comes loaded with confidence in their continued spiritual growth and ultimate glorification, and it becomes my pleasure to express to them this loving confidence regarding the ongoing work of God in their lives.
Additionally, with the gospel proving itself to be such a boon in my life, I realize that the greatest gift I can give to my fellow-Christians is the gospel itself. Indeed, I love my fellow-Christians not simply because of the gospel, but I love them best when I am loving them with the gospel. And I do this not merely by speaking gospel words to them, but also by living before them and generously relating to them in a gospel manner. Imparting my life to them in this way, I thereby contribute to their experience of the power, the Spirit, and the full assurance of the gospel.
By preaching the gospel to myself each day, I nurture the bond that unites me with my brothers and sisters for whom Christ died, and I also keep myself well-versed in the raw materials with which I may actively love them in Christ." (pp.22-23)
"Hence, the more I comprehend the full scope of the gospel, the more I value the church for which Christ died, the more I value the role that I play in the lives of my fellow-Christians, and the more I appreciate the role that they must be allowed to play in mine." (p.24)
"When my mind is fixed on the gospel, I have ample stimulation to show God's love to other people. For I am always willing to show love to others when I am freely mindful of the love that God has shown men. Also, the gospel gives me the wherewithal to give forgiving grace to those who have wronged me, for it reminds me daily of the forgiving grace that God is showing me.
Doing good and showing love to those who have wronged me is always the opposite of what my sinful flesh wants me to do. Nonetheless, when I remind myself of my sins against God and of His forgiving and generous grace toward me, I give the gospel an opportunity to reshape my perspective and to put me in a frame of mind wherein I actually desire to give this same grace to those who have wronged me." (pp.24-25)
"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you."
It is not uncommon for me to counsel someone who has a low-committment to their local church. This kind of “low view of the local church” invites sin into their lives. Paul wrote most of his letters to local churches. His appeals for sanctification were not primarily to individuals, but to local churches. You can draw an accurate assumption from Paul’s writings that Christians belonged to and were committed to a local church. That is simply not true in our day.
If you attend a local church, but do not belong to a local church, then I appeal to you to determine if your current church is for you and, if so, then I appeal to you to fully commit to your church. One of the ways you can do this is by allowing them to care for you with joy. I used to be a pastor and I found it particularly challenging when the occasional person came to our church, who would not commit to our church. I considered it analogous to a divorced dad trying to parent his children every other weekend. Even if he wanted to parent his kids every other weekend, it was not feasible for him to pull it off successfully.
Low or no commitment to a local church can also be likened to a man who cuts his leg from his body while assuming it will survive. While we understand this kind of physical self-injury to be abnormal, some Christians do not see anything wrong with their spiritual disconnectedness from their local church.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Love this. A pastor's priorities are: Jesus, wife, kids, life (e.g. ministry) --in that order. Reverse and rearrange to your own peril.
(HT: Josh Reich)
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
"Beware of all plagiarism. In 1839, The Baptist Christian Watchman published that a minister in Massachusetts preached 300 sermons which he borrowed from a brother minister; that another man had preached a large part of a sermon without stating that he had copied it from another printed essay; and that three ministers were in the habit of using the lithographic discourses call "The Pulpit." All these cases involve dishonesty. And sound views in morals must condemn such conduct. Any man who thus practices must lose these four things: 1, habits of invention; 2, self-respect; 3, public confidence as a perfectly fair and honest man; and 4, ability to be extensively useful. Men will not confide in a notorious plagiarist. He can not do much good."Hints and Helps in Pastoral Theology, William Plumer, 113-14, first published 1874
Friday, January 14, 2011
I've decided to upload the manuscript of my resent sermon on the ascension of Christ. The audio is also available for listening and download.
Here's the audio:
Here's the manuscript uploaded to Scribd.
Ascension Sermon 1-9-11
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Since then the Word, being the Image of the Father and immortal, took the form of the servant, and as man underwent for us death in His flesh, that thereby He might offer Himself for us through death to the Father; therefore also, as man, He is said because of us and for us to be highly exalted, that as by His death we all died in Christ, so again in the Christ Himself we might be highly exalted, being raised from the dead, and ascending into heaven...But if now for us the Christ is entered into heaven itself, though He was even before and always Lord and Framer of the heavens, for us therefore is that present exaltation written.”
-Four Discourses Against the Arians, 1.41
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The ruling elites have a deep set of pathologies going, and many of them have by now manifested themselves as severely dysfunctional. But one of their pathologies that still works on a lot of people is their ability to act convincingly like they are still the arbiters of cool.He borrows it from a comment thread where someone remarks:
"The shrill left approach is effective, though, when it comes to people easily embarrassed or cool-shamed. I think a lot of hard conservative types aren't willing to associate with things generally liked by mainstream red-staters who lack nuance. To them, liking Palin is similar to openly liking The Blind Side or Fireproof. Being seen to have unsophisticated tastes (even by one's enemies) is just too much to bear . . . the last thing we need is a leader with nuance. We need the right principles, black and white vision, and an inability to feel fear (or poll pressure)."
For myself, as a young pastor, I think it is easy to be susceptible to cool-shaming. I can think back to how it worked in high school--but I think even now I am not always sufficiently inoculated. Maybe labeling the disease is a good first step.
"I’ve come to the conclusion that this has been the Great Dream of my generation: to position ourselves in such a way that we’re beyond mockery. To not look stupid. That’s the biggest crime of all–looking stupid."
And then go and figure out from 1 Cor. 1:18ff where we should stand.
I've been working on an overview of the present aspects of the kingdom of God. Here's what I've written:
Overview of the Kingdom of God in the NT
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
“Since he [Jesus] entered heaven in our flesh, as if in our name, it follows, as the apostle says, that in a sense we already “sit with God in the heavenly places in him” [Eph. 2:6], so that we do not await heaven with a bare hope, but in our Head already possess it.”
--John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.16.16
“Since no man is worthy to present himself to God and come into his sight, the Heavenly Father himself, to free us at once from shame and fear, which might well have thrown our hearts into despair, has given us His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord to be our advocate [1 John 2:1] and mediator with him [1 Tim. 2:5; cf. Heb. 8:6 and 9:15], by whose guidance we may confidently come to him, with such an intercessor, trusting nothing we ask in his name will be denied us, as nothing can be denied to him by the Father…
“For as soon as God’s dread majesty comes to mind, we cannot but tremble and be driven far away by the recognition of our own unworthiness, until Christ comes forward as intermediary, to change the throne of dreadful glory into the throne of grace.”
--Institutes of the Christian Religion. 3.20.17
He [Christ] fills with grace and kindness the throne that for miserable sinners would other wise have been filled with dread.”
--Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.16.16
“For, having entered a sanctuary not made with hands, he appears before the Father’s face as our constant advocate and intercessor [Heb. 7:25; 9:11-12; Rom. 8:34]. Thus he turns the Father’s eyes to his own righteousness to avert his gaze from our sins. He so reconciles the Father’s heart to us that by his intercession he prepares a way and access for us to the Father’s throne.”
--John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2.16.16
Friday, January 7, 2011
This is worth reposting from Tony Reinke's blog:
The pulpit is the Thermopylae of Christendom: there the fight will be lost or won.To us ministers the maintenance of our power in the pulpit should be our great concern, we must occupy that spiritual watch-tower with our hearts and minds awake and in full vigor. It will not avail us to be laborious pastors if we are not earnest preachers.We shall be forgiven a great many sins in the matter of pastoral visitation if the people’s souls are really fed on the Sabbath-day; but fed they must be, and nothing else will make up for it.The failures of most ministers who drift down the stream may be traced to inefficiency in the pulpit. The chief business of a captain is to know how to handle his vessel, nothing can compensate for deficiency there, and so our pulpits must be our main care, or all will go awry.